In A Vase on Monday – Butterfly Power


Florida by any account is filled with natives. The people are very proud of staying around where they were born and advertise their ‘native Floridian’ status with car decorations, bumper stickers, decals, etc. The plants, not so much. Exotic tropical plants from around the world are much more popular than what grows here naturally. I am, of course, as guilty as the next gardener for using exotic tropical plants.

In an effort to help native pollinators and power our Butterfly population I am planting a native wildflower border.  The border is about halfway finished and the resulting butterflies have been fantastic thus far. In the border I have seen Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Zebra Longwings and several orange and yellow butterflies I have yet to identify. I am not sure what happened to the Black Swallowtail caterpillars that were in the post from last week. Hopefully they appear in the border soon.


This vase started with an interesting branch I pruned from the native Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens). I decided to continue the native wildflower theme and used the firecracker flowers in the middle from the Firebush, to this I added Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea), the purple flowers are Beach Verbena (Glandularia maritima), the royal blue bits are from Porterweed (Stachystarpeta) – people call this Vervain, which sounds a lot better. At the bottom of the arrangement, the mixed colored flowers are Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella) – a flower I have grown to love in a short period of time. The small sunflowers are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis)

I am currently finding myself lurking through the shrubbery trying the photograph the elusive Butterflies. Here are the first successful images, a Zebra Longwing tasting the Firebush.



24 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Butterfly Power

  1. Floridians sound like Native Texans, they all have bumper stickers. I have been here long enough to be “naturalized”. I love butterfly gardening and grow the flowers outside my kitchen window, so I always have a show. I had a few years with hardly any butterflies, but they seem to be coming back this year. I need to make a list of which ones are here this year. Enjoy yours!


  2. Cathy says:

    Interesting to hear about the human natives of Florida – and good to know that your vase is full of plant natives!! Your grouping works really well in this tall slim vase, so thanks for sharing it – and your butterflies!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chloris says:

    I love the zingy colours of your vase. And what amazing butterflies you have. Fabulous shots of the Zebra Long Wing. He’ s new to me. He has arranged himself very artistically on the Firebush.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful arrangement, Amelia! I’m excited about your butterfly border and all you’ve attracted so far. Lord knows, the pollinators need all the help we can give them. Great shot of the Zebra Long Wing. There is a butterfly ‘museum’ near us and this is one of the butterflies they raise. A great place to visit in winter when we’re hankering for the tropics.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kris P says:

    Congratulations on the success of your wildflower garden! I’ve been putting in more butterfly-attracting plants too but many are still stubbornly refusing to flower. Your Gaillardia looks as though it’s the wonderful variety with the frilled petals I haven’t been able to find here. I need to grow more from seed next year as I’ve come to love them too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I have looked down on Gallardia for years – til I planted some. I feel I will have a zillion seeds shortly if you would like some, not sure they are true to seed, though.


  6. Christina says:

    I always enjoy seeing your tropical blooms; I suppose because they are something I can only dream of growing. But your pollinators must be so happy that you have created a border especially for them and the plus is more flowers to pick for you. Win – win!


    • Buona sera, Christina. Actually I am from Atlanta about 600 miles north of here and used to grow most of these plants as summer annuals. It is interesting the Tropical Red Salvia is not available there. Most of these plants reseed like mad so I am a little nervous about what I will end up with – the Butterflies will be happy though – maybe they will come back as caterpillars and eat the excess plants!


  7. smallsunnygarden says:

    I love your vase! It’s funny seeing your natives because they are my ‘exotics’ here in the desert. Hamelia and some of the other tropicals are just drought-tolerant enough to grow here – and most importantly they can take the heat and still bloom in summer! Your butterflies are wonderful – so special to have them ‘growing’ in your garden too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy says:

    Hi Amelia. So glad you have got flowers for the wildlife as well as all your gorgeous tropicals. The little purple verbena flowers are a pretty contrast to the fiery oranges and reds this week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the zingy colours of your vase. And what amazing butterflies you have. amazing..
    Thanks to share.


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